3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Dead Space 2 (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Christ is possibly the best word to describe what I felt playing through Dead Space 2. There are moments that would make me stop the game, sit back and simply say "Christ" in disbelief at some of cut scenes or interactive areas. Dead Space 2 is not for the faint hearted, or those with a serious problem with horrific violence. Its brilliant.
Moving on from the original, Engineer Isaac Clarke, the unluckiest man in the universe has arrived on the Sprawl, a massive space station orbiting Saturn. The Ishimura and its horrors, long left behind him, are still with Isaac. He suffers from hallucinations, voices and bouts of physical madness that can endanger his life. He is not a well man. And who could blame him! As the game begins after a short "previously on Dead Space" style meeting between Isaac and a physiatrist, the Sprawl is under attack by another Necromorph outbreak.
The game is never positioned as Isaac being the hero to save the day, but rather a pure survival game where the main protagonist must survive the onslaught and from going completely insane. Isaacs insanity takes the form of his long since departed girlfriend Nicole, who appears as a bloodied and gaunt figure with fire blazing eyes. She provides some of the creepier moments of the game.
Dead Space 2 is a violent game. Make no mistake of this as the violence at times is truly shocking and will cause the "Christ" moments. It's not just the visual violence, but the audio too. The gurgling of blood from a slashed throat or the tearing of a limb that has been caught in an elevator door, that's the stuff that will stop you sleeping. Compared to the first game, DS2 is another level of wrong. The original is mild in comparison. You have a greater level of threat in DS2. The enemies are stronger, faster and more varied. You have the original Necromorphs and those frustrating black ones, but now you have devil children and exploding babies (another "Christ" moment) and a huge monstrosity know as the Tormentor. If you lose against this enemy, it will provide one of the worst death scenes Isaac can experience... that and the eye machine.
Weapons and Scenery has been greatly improved, with a wider variety of weapons and a greater sense that the environment you are walking through can act more as a defensive or offensive obstacle for you to use against the hoards. The harder the difficulty you play, the less the ammo becomes and the greater role the environment plays in your survival. On the hardest setting (below Hardcore) Dead Space 2 can be very unforgiving. The Final Chapters on hard is sodding hard. Hardcore mode is just absurdly hard. I still haven't completed it and probably never will.
There is a DLC pack which allows you to play as another character called Gabe, a security officer who is in the mines at the beginning of the outbreak and tries to get back to his wife. This was a bit of a letdown as Gabe's story does not have any effect on Isaacs, rather just run alongside it. It's also not set in any new areas of the Sprawl which is disappointing. It's cheaper to get and will add to your achievements but it's nothing that special.
I loved Dead Space for its story and for what it set out to be, a blood and guts fright fest of a game. Dead Space 2 delivers this in spades. It has been criticised by a few reviewers for being spread over 2 discs, but you can see why with the sheer scale of the game. What Dead Space 2 doesn't need is multi-player. Dead Space 1 got by without it fine and EA just buckled. Admittedly its fun but I haven't bought this for the online.
Better than the first game, bloodier and scarier too.